Restoring the Shining Waters

Restoring the Shining Waters

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No sooner had the EPA established the Superfund program in 1980 to clean up the nationa€™s toxic waste dumps and other abandoned hazardous waste sites, than a little Montana town found itself topping the new programa€™s National Priority List. Milltown, a place too small to warrant a listing in the U.S. Census, sat alongside a modest hydroelectric dam at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers. For three-quarters of a century, arsenic-laced waste from some of the worlda€™s largest copper-mining operations had accumulated behind the dam. Soon, Milltown became the site of Superfunda€™s first dam removal and watershed restoration, marking a turning point in U.S. environmental history. The story of this dramatic shift is the tale of individuals rallying to reclaim a place they valued beyond its utility. In Restoring the Shining Waters, David Brooks gives an intimate account of how local citizensa€”homeowners, university scientists, county health officials, grassroots environmentalists, business leaders, and thousands of engaged residentsa€”brought about the removal of Milltown Dam. Interviews with townspeople, outside environmentalists, mining executives, and federal officials reveal how the everyday actions of individuals got the dam removed and, in the process, pushed Superfund to allow more public participation in decision making and to emphasize restoration over containment of polluted environments. A federal program designed to deal with the toxic legacies of industrialization thus became a starting point for restoring Americaa€™s most damaged environments, largely through the efforts of local communities. With curiosity, conviction, and a strong sense of place, the small town of Milltown helped restore an iconic western river valleya€”and in doing so, shaped the history of Superfund and modern environmentalism.... devoted to area students featured Hank Schewea#39;s acrostic poem about one of western Montanaa#39;s native fish. Reflecting some of the things hea#39;d learned, Schewe wrote: Becoming extinct Underwater life Lives by eating bugs Lives a life of danger Trout family ... And as with so many environmental efforts and issues, a single species came to symbolize a placea#39;s problems and peoplea#39;s hopes for its future.

Title:Restoring the Shining Waters
Author:David Brooks
Publisher:University of Oklahoma Press - 2015-08-25


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